Raut should not have made comment about Indira Gandhi: Pawar

NASHIK (Maha), Jan 17: Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut should have refrained from saying that former prime minister Indira Gandhi used to meet yesteryear gangster Karim Lala, NCP chief Sharad Pawar said here on Friday.

He also dismissed reports of resentment among leaders of the ruling coalition in Maharashtra, saying “we are all Congressmen originally, and Congressmen think practically.”

On Wednesday Raut said that Indira Gandhi used to meet Lala during her Mumbai visits, drawing sharp reaction from the Congress, which is part of the Shiv Sena-led coalition government in the state. Raut later withdrew his comment.

“We all think he should not have made the statement regarding Indira Gandhi. But he has withdrawn that statement. Hence I don’t want to broach the issue (again),” the NCP president said.

He recalled a report claiming that he had shared the stage with gangster Haji Mastan during a campaign rally.

“I had gone to Mohammed Ali Road to campaign for the party in 1972. A rally was held. Next day I read in newspapers that Sharad Pawar and Haji Mastan sat next to each other at the rally,” he said.

“I did not even know who Haji Mastan was…But the news was published,” Pawar added.

To a question about reported rumblings within the ruling coalition, of which his party is also a part, Pawar said there was no need to give any advice to its leaders as they were all mature and knew they had to run a government.

“They have seen what happens when one is not in the government. We all are Congressmen originally, and Congressmen think practically,” he quipped. (PTI)